Annual Event Team-building Ideas

Updated: Aug. 30, 2017  |  Categories: Volunteers, Goal Setting, Meetings/Events  

No matter the size and extent of a chapter event, planning and execution takes time and energy, but the payoffs are great in terms of educating attendees and building engaged membership. But what’s more, events have a core purpose aimed at networking. Even with that, though, it doesn’t necessarily mean they focus on team building strategies throughout the entire event. And perhaps they should. At one moment they can help enhance skills, while at the same time provide a natural break in the presentation of material. Re-imaging how your annual event looks with member goals in mind can be just the task that makes or breaks the success of your event.

Take a look at these five ideas for getting your teams to think and bond cohesively while moving away from traditional networking strategies.

  1. Coffee Mini-moments – Plan for these between sessions. And while a coffee break in and of itself is not new, shake it up. Make it a bit longer, and set up team trivia during the mini-moments, offering prizes to the best team. Let members stand out by solidifying the questions around the local chapter, national association, and/or the industry.
  2. Community Service – Set up a time during the event for attendees to go out and give back to the community in some way. Working together to make the world a better place unites people in their core values, which in turn translates to better team work. While this is a traditional, old school method of team building, make what you do exciting and different. Go paint a mural. Plant a rooftop garden. Brainstorm and offer a multitude of choices.
  3. Mission Possible Scavenger Hunt – Interweave throughout your event a mission of sorts, where they collect clues at sessions, between sessions, etc. The goal: to work as a team to coordinate and find the final clue. You can go high-tech and have smart phone interconnectivity to deeper knowledge or you can go low-tech with pen and paper.
  4. Special Break-out Sessions – Arrange for special sessions where the goal isn’t to gain more “hard” knowledge, but rather to develop soft skills and bond with teammates. One idea is to have a “Battle of the Airbands” where a certain number of teams sign up, rehearse during this session then perform in front of the whole of the event. This will serve as entertainment and a way for teams to work together to put on the best “show”. It will also be a memorable activity.
  5. Game Shows – Teams organize and prep to participate in live game shows for real prizes. Some game shows to choose from: “Two Truths and a Lie,” “The Price is Right,” “Jeopardy,” “Wheel of Fortune”, and so on. There really is no limit to what you can do here. The idea is to have fun, but ensure that all the questions, words, themes, etc. come back to your industry and association. This way, it encourages your attendees to learn while working together and having fun.


These ideas are just a few of the many possibilities available to implement and make your annual event even more memorable and engaging. If they may not work for your chapter’s event, conduct a survey to ask your members what they may want to see happen at an event in relation to team-building. Brainstorm ideas that serve the membership of the chapter and national association. Remember not to limit your ideas to past experiences. Be open to new ventures – or season a traditional activity a bit to be just different enough that it enhances and wows members into wanting to come to the next event.


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